Thursday, June 23, 2016

Saturday Antioch Speedway Preview, Alameda Fair Figure 8 Preview

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Something For Everybody Saturday Night
At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...The All Star Series Antioch Speedway racing season is almost at the half way point, and it has been very competitive in all of the divisions on the fast 3/8 mile clay oval. On Saturday night, six divisions will take their turns on the John M. Soares prepared track, including the Winged 360 Sprint Cars and Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and California Hardtops.

A few drivers are licking there wounds after a Winged Sprint Car show last week that was just a little bit rough. At the start of be 25 lap Main Event, third place point runner Dan Gonderman ended up flipping in an incident that also eliminated second place point competitor Billy Aton. This was all good news to point leader Art McCarthy. McCarthy drove to a second place feature finish, which allowed him to stretch his point lead over Aton.

Meanwhile, it was yet another driver picking up a feature win last Saturday night as past Northern Auto Racing Club star Bobby McMahon drove the Jarrett Soares car to victory. With five races now in the record books, there are five different Main Event winners. Drivers seem to be coming from everywhere to take their turns on the fast racing service. McCarthy and Aton count themselves as track regulars with victories along with McMahon, Koen Shaw and Shawn Conde.

Partially because there was a Civil War Series race happening at Petaluma and King Of The West  race at Stockton last week, car count was down just a bit, but it is hoped that those numbers will pick up this week. Drivers with work to do on their cars, however, include reigning champions Shawn Arriaga and Gonderman. Art's son Adam McCarthy finished third last week.  Adam is anticipated this week along with Matt Barber, Rick Brophy and 2014 champion Chris Magoon.

The Wingless Spec Sprint drivers have work to do to keep up with point leader Jim Perry Jr. Perry became the first repeat winner in the division this season with his victory over Barry Pries Jr. last week. A close battle behind Perry finds five drivers within 12 points of each other as veteran Rick Panfili sits in second in the standings.

Panfili is hoping to win his first Main Event this season. Like Perry and occasional competitor Dan Gonderman, Panfili is an original from this division's roster back in 1999. Don't look now, but Marcus Smith is closing in fast on Panfili.  Despite a blown motor this year, Marcus is riding two points behind Panfili as the one time winner finished third last week.  Other hard chargers to watch for this week include Shannon Newton,  past Chowchilla champion Brandon Burd, James East, Roy Fisher, rookie Adam Teves and Alan Miranda.

The fact is, you never know who could be the next Main Event winner at the competitive speedway. To illustrate that point, second year B Modified racer K.C. Keller recorded his first Main Event win last week. Keller enjoyed an intense battle with three time winner Trevor Clymens at the prior race before mechanical issues sent him pitside. He knew he had a car capable of victory, and his first win came ahead of Ocean Speedway point leader Jim DiGiovanni and Clymens.

The reality is that the B Modifieds are in a year of transition. With Fred Ryland choosing to race elsewhere this year, the field seems very equal in the quest for victory. Point leader Al Johnson has earned his ranking through consistency as a three time second place finisher so far this year. With Clymens not very far behind him, Johnson knows he needs to get a win at some point this year. He will be after it this week along with Danny Jones, Randy Brown, Shane DeVolder and Loyd Cline.

Last season, third generation racer Mark Garner finally gave his family their first track championship at Merced. Mark's father, Jerry Garner, is the 1969 State Stock Car champion. Though Jerry raced for many seasons at Antioch Speedway and was Top 5 ranked on multiple occasions, a track championship eluded him. This season, Mark would like to bring an Antioch championship trophy back home to the family mantle place. To do that, he knows who he has to beat.

At this stage of the season, it is a three car battle for that championship, involving rookie Kimo Oreta and 87 year old veteran Larry Damitz. Damitz is the reigning four time division champion and point leader.  Garner won the last time, but Damitz wasn't far behind him. Still, it is a close battle in the standings between the three drivers. Oreta hasn't earned his first win yet, but the three time Hobby Stock champion has scored more feature wins than anybody else in the history of that division.

Two other drivers on the list of winners, in addition to Garner and Damitz, are Mike Gustafson and Jim Freethy. Freethy is next in line in the standings back in fourth, but some bad luck has hindered his efforts. The division has had a few new competitors debut, and others we are looking for this week include Lori Brown, the steady John Evans, Calvin Louis and John Keith.

The Hobby Stock division at Antioch Speedway has been exciting to watch all season long with five different winners in six races. At the top of the heap in the overall standings and rookie points is Guy Ahlwardt. Ahlwardt won the most recent race, which was his second win of the season. He has a big advantage in the standings over another feature winner, Stock Car veteran Danny Jones. Jones is doing double duty as he is also racing B Modifieds.

Other than Ahlwardt and Jones, nobody else in the Top 10 in the standings has made it into the winner's column just yet. Natalie Perry is one of those drivers, and she is not far behind second ranked Jones in the standings as 19 points separate second through sixth.  Third ranked Cameron Swank, Michael Cooper, Jason Jennings, Steven Rogers, Lindsay Buirch and Russell Shearer are other drivers to watch this week.  We also saw the return of Robert Niven at the most recent race as he finished in the Top 5.  One time winner Chris Long is said to be preparing for a return this week.

The California Hardtop Association is also part of the program this week. Recently, it was announced that the group would hold the Chet Thomson Memorial Race at the speedway on September 10th, a week following their big show at Calistoga. Chet is a champion in Hardtops at the old Vallejo Speedway, who passed away in 1967. Vallejo Speedway ran a memorial race for him there until it closed at the end of the 1979 season.

The Hardtop division has enjoyed parody this year with 4 different winners in 5 races. This includes the father and son team of Ken and Jason Clifford. Recent Roseville winner Jason Armstrong and Dave Mackey are other drivers on the list. Mickey was the competitor who won the most recent Antioch race. He's also the one who has pushed for the race for Chet Thomson

There are some fast competitors who have yet to win in a Main Event this season, including Chet's son Tommy Thomson, long time in Antioch competitor Rob Waldrop and Dan Williams. Thomson competes in a car in which he won Main Events with at Vallejo Speedway.

The Hardtops are a neat division and put on a good show every time they are at the speedway. Antioch played a crucial role in establishing the California Hardtop Association nearly a decade ago. Drivers we anticipate this week include John Turner, John Philbert, Joe Hopp, Ron Ruiz and Stock Car veteran Dennis Armstrong.

The one thing Antioch Speedway is known for is hosting exciting racing programs every Saturday night. This Saturday night should be no different. With Winged 360 Sprint Cars, Wingless Spec Sprints, B Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Hobby Stocks and California Hardtops on the program, this will be an entertaining show to watch. For further information, check out

All Star Series Antioch Speedway Point Standings

Winged 360 Sprint Cars
Art McCarthy 248
Billy Aton 230
Dan Gonderman 178
Rick Brophy 134
Shawn Arriaga 137
Chris Magoon 126
Burt Foland Jr. 114
Adam McCarthy 102
Koen Shaw 100
Matt Barber 90

Wingless Spec Sprints
Jim Perry Jr. 240
Rick Panfili 206
Marcus Smith 204
James East 202
Shannon Newton 196
Brandon Burd 194
Alan Miranda 174
Roy Fisher 174
Kyle Bakkie 158
Adam Teves 158

B Modified
Al Johnson    414
Trevor Clymens     380
Shane DeVolder    364
Danny Jones    334
K.C. Keller    280
Lloyd Cline    184
Randy Brown    182
Brian Pearce    176
Fred Ryland    164
Lonnie Leonard    148

Limited Late Models
Larry Damitz    208
Mark Garner    196
Kimo Oreta    194
Jim Freethy    182
John Evans    168
Mike Gustafson    138
Lori Brown    95
Paul Hanley    40
John Keith    40
Donny Richardson 16

Hobby Stocks
Guy Ahlwardt    298
Danny Jones    227
Cameron Swank    224
Michael Cooper    216
Natalie Perry    215
Lindsey Buirch    208
Jordon Swank    178
Chris Sorensen     141
Rob Waldrop    128
Russell Shearer    120

Porterville, Merced Mini Stock Drivers Set To Invade The Alameda County Fair

Alameda, CA...Sunnyside Promotions is known for their Destruction Debies throughout the West Coast.  From compact cars all the way to RV's, they put them into the rodeo arenas and unleash the carnage to the delight of the crowds.  At the Alameda County Fair last year, they put out a call for Mini Stock drivers to sign up for all three days of Figure 8 racing, and they paid them handsomely for putting on a show.

Four drivers answered the call to put their cars onto a little Figure 8 track that was cut inside the rodeo arena.  It wasn't big enough for the cars to go too fast and do major damage, but it was small enough to keep the cars close and put the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats.  It made for an entertaining show.  Last year, Andy "The Dirt Dogg" Boydstun, Mat Schlessinger, Brian Widdowson and Chris Corder made the trip.

The four drivers played up to the crowd.  One night saw Widdowson and good friend Schlessinger beating on each others cars in every corner with Boydstun mixing it up for good measure.  The reaction of the crowd was obvious.  The Figure 8's have great potential to become a Fair Time Tour under the right promotion.  And, the great thing is that the arena is so tight that a six car field is a full field.

At Hoagland Park in Indiana, they have a similar type of show.  There is an arena built specifically for what has become a very popular Destruction Derby.  They run compact and big car divisions, and they have added the twist of Figure 8 programs for each class.  It has become very popular there.

The Alameda show got the four drivers talking, and they spread the word.  At last report, there were eight drivers planning to make the trip to the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton for the three day event (July 1-3).  Boydstun and his teammate Shawn Schwartzenberger top the list.  Shawn leads Andy in the points at Bakersfield Speedway this year, and Andy was second in points last season at his home track in Porterville. 

It doesn't stop there.  Clinton Massey is one of this year's Top Portervile Mini Stock racers and was third last year.  He's planning to tow up along with Steven Scott and the truck of Justin Moore.  It's not a serious event, but more about laughs and having fun.  However, there is a trophy for the winners, and Boydstun brought one home last year.

Corder Racing knows all about bringing home trophies.  Merced point leader Chris Corder has won six races this year between Merced and Watsonville, is the 2015 Chowchilla champion and 2014 Merced champ.  He's digging the #505 car out of mothballs for this event, which is the car he won the big West Coast Nationals event at Chowchilla with in 2015.  Also making the trip is second generation racer Lucy Falkenberg, who recently picked up her best finish in third at Watsonville.

There's an interesting thing happening with these arena Figure 8's and it has caught the attention of racers looking to make things more interesting.  In a little under two weeks, the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton will have it's  second event.  Indications are that it will be bigger and better than last year.

Racing Continues Saturday Night At Orland Raceway

Orland, CA...The gates will open for Round #3 of racing at Orland Raceway this Saturday night at the Glenn County Fairgrounds.  Divisions offered on the schedule include the Pure Stocks, Mini Trucks, Mini Stocks and 600 and 250 Micro Sprints.  Track management is also offering up a bike and helmet raffle for the kids thanks to Penner's Auto Center and Mini Stock racer Robert Hunt.

Due to the short amount of time that Promoter Rich Hood and his crew had to get the one-fifth mile clay oval ready before opening day, they've been working hard trying to make things even better.  During the off week, they added more new clay to the track in preparation for Saturday's race.

Two races into the season, past champion Steve Martin is doing his best to stake a claim on the Pure Stock championship.  Martin opened the season with a win and finished second to Placerville visitor Jason Armstrong in the next race.  Cody Bundy, Top 5 Chico competitor Jeremy Langenderfer and Earl Adams are among the others anticipated as car count continues to improve in the popular division.

The Mini Trucks continue to be a featured attraction at the track, and the first two wins of the season have gone to division mainstays "Rollin" Olin Crane and Dan Webster.  Webster had his work cut out for him as he battled past champion Ross Vige to win his race.  With other hard chargers such as reigning champion Keith Ross, William Fogle and Nate Skaggs in the field, Saturday's race should be good.

2014 champion Tom Davis has been the man to beat in Mini Stocks.  When the division takes to the track on Saturday, he will be going for his third straight victory.  With a pair of Top 3 finishes so far, Jeff Bennett seeks to grab his first win as past champion John Kirkpatrick, Eric Hammond and Robert Hunt are others to watch for.

The 600 and 250 Micro Sprints will both be racing, and they've been running together as car count gets established.  It also makes for a bigger field as Jackie Whitson Jr. and Rob Baker count themselves as 250 Micro winners and reigning champion Jeromie Crisman and Robert Baker have the 600 wins.  Sprint Car ace Rowdy McLennon, Ronnie Heyer, Marty Plumb and Reigning 250's champion Jess Garland are others to watch for this week

The management is working on other giveaways for the night.  Orland Raceway also has one of the lowest ticket prices in the state at $7.00 for general admission, $5.00 for kids 7-12 and children 6 and under free. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with the first race starting at 7:00 p.m. sharp.  For Further Information, check out

McCarthy-Aton Battle Continues In 
Antioch Speedway Sprint Cars This Week

Antioch, CA...June 22...Two big storylines continue in the Antioch Speedway All Star Winged Sprint Cars Series this season.  For starters, Art McCarthy and Billy Aton are locked in a tight championship battle after five races.  The other story is the fact that the there are five winners in the five races held so far.  Last week, Bobby McMahon was the latest driver to add his name to the list.

When Jarrett Soares went to Stockton to compete in the King Of The West 410 Sprint Car event, Bobby was more than happy to step in as a substitute in the #12 car.  If the name sounds familiar, it should.  Bobby was one of the stars of the old NARC Sprint Car Series of the 1980's and 1990's, a past Speedweek champion and Top 5 driver in the series.  He has won his share of Sprint Car races through the years.  Last Saturday, Bobby joined Shawn Conde, Koen Shaw, Aton and McCarthy on the winner's list.

The win didn't come without a fight from current point leader and 2007 Antioch champion Art McCarthy.  McCarthy has been racing Super Modifieds and Sprint Cars since the late 1960's.  All these years later, he's still one of the stars of Antioch Speedway.  Though he came up just short last week, she still earned a strong second place finish.  Art was anticipating a challenge from Aton or 2015 champion Shawn Arriaga this week, but it never came.

Arriaga was out early with mechanical issues.  He didn't even get to make a lap in the heat race.  Aton was hoping for another strong run in the Main Event, but he was eliminated in a back stretch crash that saw third place point runner Dan Gonderman flipping.  Gonderman was okay, but his car wasn't as fortunate.  As it turned out, Art was joined by his son Adam McCarthy on the podium last week.  Adam had his best finish since coming out of retirement with that third place finish, and he added a second place finish to McMahan in his heat race as well.

Matt Barber decidced to come back after his Top 5 finish a week earlier, and despite a rough start, he still managed a fourth place finish ahead of Jenna Frazier.  Frazier had been running Dwarf Cars in recent seasons, but she has moved up to the #18 Sprint Car that Bobby's son Robby McMahan had driven last season. 

Antioch is establishing their own class, and other local competitors on the roster include 2014 champion Chris Magoon, Rick Brophy, Ricky Brophy, Tim Burcher and Burt Foland Jr.  Given the nature of the division and the fact that there is a good purse, different drivers tend to show up for visits every week.  You never know who might be there next.  Saturday, June 25th is the next race.  For further information, check out

2016 Antioch All Star Winged 360 Sprint Points

Art McCarthy 248
Billy Aton 230
Dan Gonderman 178
Rick Brophy 134
Shawn Arriaga 137
Chris Magoon 126
Burt Foland Jr. 114
Adam McCarthy 102
Koen Shaw 100
Matt Barber 90
Jarrett Soares 88

2016 Antioch All Stars
Winged 360 Sprint Car Schedule

June 25
July 16
July 30
August 6
August 13
August 20
August 27
September 10
September 17
September 24

Past Champions

1998-Gary Geving
2007-Art McCarthy
2010-Craig Smith
2013-Chris Magoon
2014-Chris Magoon
2015-Shawn Arriaga

Last 30 Feature Winners

June 11, 2016:  Bobby McMahan
June 4, 2016: Shawn Conde
May 21, 2016: Koen Shaw
April 23, 2016: Billy Aton
April 2, 2016: Art McCarthy
August 29, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 8, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
July 11, 2015: Jake Haulot
June 20, 2915: Austin Liggett
June 6, 2015: Shawn Arriaga
May 16, 2015: Jake Haulot
April 25, 2015: Alissa Geving
March 7, 2015: Art McCarthy
August 2, 2014: Zack Lynskey
June 21 2014: Bradley Terrell
June 10, 2014: Chris Magoon
April 5, 2014: Kurt Nelson
May 4, 2013: Shawn Arriaga
April 13, 2014: Chris Martin
September 17, 2011: Billy Aton
July 30, 2011: Craig Smith
September 15, 2010: Jeremy Burt
August 25, 2010: Craig Smith
April 24, 2010: Craig Smith
March 27, 2010: Craig Smith
March 20, 2010: Ryan Risconi
September 26, 2009: Jeremy Burt
August 29, 2009: Jeremy Burt

Perry Leads The Way In Spec Sprints At Antioch Speedway

Antioch, CA...June 22...It seems like the 18th Wingless Spec Sprint season is heating up with the summer at Antioch Speedway.  Antioch is the place where the Spec Sprints started back in 1999, and almost 20 years later, the two names at the top of the point list were on the point list back then.  Second generation racer Jim Perry Jr. and Rick Panfili are a contrast in racing accomplishments.

Perry's mantle is lined with trophies from Main Events he's won in his Super Modified and Wingless Spec Sprinter through the years.  Nobody has won more Spec Sprint Main Events at Antioch than Perry, who is a past champion and the current point leader.  Panfili got his start in the NCMA back in the mid 1990's and has raced every season in the Spec Sprints without a feature victory.  This year saw him earn a career best second place finish, and he's having the most success he's ever had, coming off of back to back third place point seasons.  He's in second now, and he's 34 points behind "Jammin Jim" in the championship battle.

The Perry family name goes back to the 1960's at Vallejo Speedway.  Jim's dad and uncle (Jim Sr. and Earl) raced Hardtops and Super Modifieds there, so he was born with racing in his blood and has passed it on to his son, Jimmy Perry III.  Jim got his second win last week, and it came ahead of another Vallejo Speedway Hardtop name, Barry Pries Jr.  Barry's dad, Barry Pries Sr., holds the honor of winning the final Hardtop championship at the track in 1978.  Pries, who got his start racing Karts at Delta Speedway back in the 1990's, was making his first Antioch start and did well in second.

Perry III, meanwhile, suffered a motor problem in winning his heat race.  Though the division's #3 all time winner and past champion had three wins last year, Perry III is still looking for his first win of the season.  The younger Perry has fallen out of the title chase, but 2015 "Rookie Of The Year" and (yet another) second generation racer Marcus Smith is climbing the ladder fast after a bad start.  Marcus had a blown motor earlier this season, but he also has a feature win.  Last week's third place finish, back behind the wheel of his own #28 car, moved him to within a couple points of Panfili in a close battle.

The record will show that second ranked Panfili leads Smith by two points, James East by four, Shannon Newton by eight and past Chowchilla champion Brandon Burd by 12 in one of the closest battles at the track.  Burd had a fifth place finish last week behind Alan Miranda as he continues to dial in his #56 Sprinter.  Panfili just missed a Top 5 finish in sixth ahead of Steven Grier.  Grier has only raced occasionally since Ocean Speedway dropped the division as a regular class at the end of the 2014 season.

Meanwhile, Adam Teves continues to improve in the "Lloyd Beard Special" #42 Sprint Car, owned by his grandfather Dana Craig and Cameron Beard.  Craig brings a wealth of knowledge about race cars from his years with the Perry Racing Team.  Adam has been racing since before he was old enough to legally drive, starting with Outlaw Karts and moving into Dwarf Cars. After winning multiple Main Events last year on his way to a second place season in Dwarf Cars, Adam has moved up to Spec Sprinters.  His eighth place finish last week came ahead of East and Newton.  Adam is currently ninth in the standings as the leading rookie in the field.

The racing in the Wingless Spec Sprint division has been competitive all season as two time champion Dan Gonderman and Jason McIntosh join Perry and Smith as feature winners. Perry is the only one with multiple wins.  As the division  returns to Antioch this Saturday night for Round #6, it will be a good battle to see if anybody can add their names to the win column.  It should be a good show.  For further information, check out

Wingless Spec Sprint Top 10 Points

Jim Perry Jr. 240
Rick Panfili 206
Marcus Smith 204
James East 202
Shannon Newton 196
Brandon Burd 194
Alan Miranda 174
Roy Fisher 174
Kyle Bakkie 158
Adam Teves 158

Wingless Spec Sprint Schedule

June 18
June 25
July 16
July 23
August 13
August 27
September 3
September 24

Past Wingless Spec Sprint Champions

1988-Mike Johnson *
1989-Scott Holloway *
1997-Stan Cargo *
1998-Scott Holloway *
1999-Dan Gonderman
2000-Travis Berryhill
2001-Terry Tarditi
2002-Darrell Hanestad
2003-Darrell Hanestad
2004-Bob Newberry
2005-Scot Merrell
2006-Jimmy Perry III
2007-Jim Perry Jr.
2008-Billy Macedo
2009-Billy Aton
2010-Tommy LaLiberte
2011-Dan Gonderman
2012-D.J. Johnson
2013-Gary Nelson Jr.
2014-Billy Macedo
2015-Kyle Bakkie
* NCMA Antioch

Previous 30 Winners

June 11, 2016: Jason McIntosh
May 15, 2016: Jim Perry Jr.
May 2, 2016: Marcus Smith
April 16, 2016: Dan Gonderman
September 19, 2015: Billy Macedo
August 29, 2015: Kyle Bakkie
August 15, 2015: Billy Macedo
August 1, 2015: Jimmy Perry III
July 5, 2015: Jeff Lee
June 20, 2015: James East
June 6, 2915: Jimmy Perry III
May 17, 2015: Kyle Bakkie
April 26, 2015: Jimmy Perry III
April 19, 2015: Kyle Bakkie
April 12, 2015: Roy Fisher
March 21, 2015: Kyke Bakkie
March 14, 2015: Roy Fisher
March 7, 2015: Jeff Lee
September 13, 2014: Billy Macedo
August 2, 2014: Bob Newberry
July 26 2014: Jeff Banbury
June 28 2014: Chris Magoon
June 14, 2014: Billy Macedo
April 26, 2014: Billy Macedo
April 5, 2014: Rowdy McClennon
March 22, 2014: Gary Nelson Jr.
March 15, 2014: Billy Macedo
October 5, 2013: Zack Lynsky
September 28, 2013: Zack Lynsky
September 14, 2013: D.J. Johnson